Movies: Glass, The Upside, Stan & Ollie


The release of Glass translates as the ending of M. Night Shyamalan’s triology that started with the 2000 release of Unbreakable, followed by Split in 2016.  All, in our humble opinion, are creepy, haunting movies about very disturbed characters played by several very talented actors like James McAvoy, Bruce Willis, Anya Taylor-Joy, Samuel L. Jackson, Sarah Paulson and Spencer Treat Clark.

The critics have not been kind to this film.  Quite the contrary, the chorus of negative reviews far out weigh the positive.  We land somewhere in the middle.  Since the story is fodder from the comic books, we’ll err on the side of a low score.  That said, Mr. Shyamalan’s products have always been “out of the box” and this rendition follows suite accordingly.

The film is rated PG-13 for violence including some bloody images, thematic elements and language.  There are some very disturbing scenes.  We feel strongly this film is not appropriate for children.  The run time is 110 minutes.  We are actually pleased the trilogy is over.


The Upside

We debated whether or not to see this film, but we are very happy we did.  It’s a story about a quadriplegic billionaire who needs an attendant for day-to-day assistance who hires a paroled ex-convict for the position.

The film is “inspired by a true story” but is based on a hit 2011 French comedy film The Untouchables.

It’s an interesting cast:  Bryan Cranston plays the wealthy Phil.  Kevin Hart plays the crusty ex con, Dell.  Nicole Kidman is Yvonne the tough personal assistant.  Julianna Margulies plays a close friend.  Aja Naomi King plays Dell’s wife.  Tate Donovan plays a wealthy neighbor.

The film is serious in just the right places and lighthearted where it should be.  It wanders off target now and then but always seems to find itself back to the important story line.

The film is rated PG-13 for suggestive content and drug use.  Parents be advised, there is additional content that may not be suitable for young children.

The film’s genre is noted as Comedy, Drama with a run time of  126 minutes.


Stan & Ollie

We are glad they made this film.  It’s an unusual perspective on the lifetime careers of Stanley Laurel and Oliver Hardy.  The film begins with the 1937 film set directed by Hal Roach at the peak of Laurel & Hardy’s career.

Fast forward twenty years where Stan & Ollie are touring England at less than premier venues, struggling to keep their performances rich and satisfying.  Humbled and frustrated they never give up.

John C. Reilly endured three hours of makeup every day to transform into Oliver Hardy.  Steve Coogan is perfect as Stan Laurel.  Shirley Henderson is superb as Lucielle Hardy and Nina Arianda is hilarious as Ida Kitaeva Laurel.

Ultimately there is some conflict between Stan & Ollie that transcends decades.  Old wounds and waning careers collide with health and friendship.

The film is rated PG for some language and for smoking.  It is listed as a Comedy, Drama with a run time of 97 minutes.


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